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Stoner smashes Donington Park.

Casey Stoner's substantial practice and qualifying advantage at Donington Park transferred into a dominant lights-to-flag victory in Sunday's British Grand Prix at a dry but blustery Donington Park.

The Ducati Marlboro star - over half a second clear of the field in both wet and dry conditions heading into the race - was never troubled by the 17-strong opposition and the MotoGP world champion took his first victory since the season-opening Qatar night race - with a huge wheelie - by 5.789secs.

Stoner's demonstration ride was helped by a tense battle between world championship leaders Valentino Rossi and Dani Pedrosa, which saw the pair swap second position repeatedly during the middle stages.

Rossi initially looked to be struggling to hold back the Repsol Honda rider, who first overtook the Fiat Yamaha star with a neat move into turn one on lap 15 - only for Rossi to hit straight back at the Old Hairpin.

Pedrosa then repeated his successful turn-one move, and this time looked to have the position secured, but made a mistake at the Fogarty Esses - allowing Rossi back past.

That seemed to take the wind out of Pedrosa, who settled back behind Rossi before dropping away from the seven time world champion - riding in his 200th grand prix - during the closing stages.

Rossi crossed the line 2.5secs ahead of Pedrosa, building the Italian's world championship lead up to eleven points - with Stoner, despite his huge victory margin, only moving five points closer to the top. The young Australian is now 45 points from Rossi, but at least up to third in the standings, having overtaken Jorge Lorenzo.

Race-winning rookie Lorenzo, making his return to action this weekend after the latest in a series of heavy accidents ruled him out of the Catalan Grand Prix, had qualified just 17th on the grid - and was openly questioning his confidence - but delivered just the sort of ride he and his team had hoped for by charging all the way up to sixth position.

Lorenzo finished less than one second behind fellow rookie Andrea Dovizioso, who rode a superb opening lap - overtaking both Nicky Hayden and Valentino Rossi to briefly hold second - before spending much of the race fighting for fourth.

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